Frequently Asked Questions

Every homeowner will run into a plumbing problem sooner or later.  Having a good understanding of how the system works in your house will reduce bigger problems in the future and will save time and money until you call a plumber.  Proper maintenance is very important as it can reduce future costs.  When a problem does arise, its good to know what to do in the situation and control it in the meantime.  All you need is some basic hand tools and little mechanical knowledge.

Drainage Questions

Why is my sink clogged?

Most sinks are plugged due to hair or soap scum around the walls of the pipe. Removed the p-trap under sink and run water into a bucket. If the tap that ran into the bucket did so slowly, then its a plug in the tailpiece of the sink. Use long needle nose pliers to pull out hair either from top of sink or bottom. If water flows freely in bucket then the clog is further down the line and will require a small augur.

How did my toilet get clogged and how do I fix it?

Toilet paper and fecal matter are the only things that should be flushed down the toilet.  Anything else can clog a toilet and should be put in the garbage.  We have seen plugged up toilets from q-tips to toothbrushes. Keep your toilet lid closed so items cannot be easily dropped in. A plastic accordion style plunger works the best to unclog toilets. If the plunger doesn't unclog the toilet, use a toilet augur. 

Why is my kitchen sink clogged?

Kitchen sink clogs can happen from grease or food that is drained into the sink. The plug does not happen right away but usually over a longer period of time. It is good practice to remove any left over food or grease in the food waste bin or garbage. Garburators also cause clogged drains as food goes down the drain. If you use a garburator always run water while it is in use.  Every couple weeks fill your sink with hot water and let it drain. It can flush out food waste that is in the drain line. 

Why is my shower not draining?

Tubs and showers clog up due to hair and soap scum. Lift up drain cap and see if any hair is clogging it. Usually hair or debris can be reached with long needle nose pliers. If not, it will require a small hand augur.  If your tub is plugged, remove the overflow on top of tub and use small hand augur. 

What do I do if my Laundry is overflowing?

Look for clean out to access with small augur. Most likely augur will not be able to go through standpipe because p-trap is hidden behind wall.  Usually a small augur will be required to unclog the drain since its usually further down the line. 

Why is sewer backing up into my house?

Its called a sewer main and it can back up from tree roots in yard, cracked or rotted cast iron drain, a collapse in a line etc. It is the worst of plugs and requires larger machines to clear the line. Sometimes if the line cannot be cleared then a portion of whole line has to be replaced either by digging or pulling.

Why is there water backing up into my shower and toilet at the same time?

Do not use any water in the household at all. Any water that is used will overflow. This problem often occurs in basements or the first floor. A large augur will need to be used to clear blockage and its always a good idea to put a camera down to see what the cause of blockage was and if there is any unforeseen blockages in line.

How can I ensure my drain tiles are clean and working properly?

Drain tiles should be cleaned at least once every year or two depending on how old the house is. Rain water from around the house and roof go into the drain tiles that are buried along the foundation and are carried away into the sewer.

Water is coming up into the foundation.  What is my next step?

A camera inspection is used in this situation. In older homes, spot digs at the corner of the house are done if the tiles are concrete or clay they are old and hard to navigate around bends from the top of the ground.  We can also dig up drain tile along your house if the lines are collapsed and hard to clear.


Plumbing Questions

Where is my main shutoff valve? 

In case of emergencies, in older homes the main shut off valve is in the front part of the home and in newer homes they are located in the mechanical room. Always have good access to the water shut off if a pipe bursts.

What can I do in the winter to prevent burst pipes & hoses?

Have all water supply pipes insulated in crawl space or walls.  When the temperature drops to minus 5 in winter, turn on a cold tap anywhere in the home enough so water can flow through pipes before it freezes and bursts.  Shut off the water feeding the outside hose. The shutoff is usually located in the inside wall behind the hose or mechanical room which should be labeled.

How can I get my garburator to start working?

Turn the power off. Using a long screwdriver and flashlight look in the garburator for a foreign objects or hard food particles. Remove with long needle nose pliers. With screw driver gently tap or try loosening the blades. Press little red button on bottom of garburator and turn on power.

Why is my tap dripping?

Most likely it is due to old seats, cartridge or washers.  Shutoff water supply from under sink or vanity. With proper tools remove cartridge carefully and replace with identical part.

One of my pipes is leaking. What can I do as a temporary fix?

It is always useful to have rubber sleeves and MJ bands to temporarily repair pin hole leaks. These can be purchased at any home improvement store.

I have a pool of water in my front yard. What does this mean?

If any flooding is in the area it most likely means it is a water main break.  Make sure you have easy access to the shutoff in the yard.  Your shutoff is usually referred to as a curb stop or city shutoff.  The leak can either be repaired or do the full line replacement.  We always recommend to do the full replacement, especially if it is an older line.

Why is there water coming from my tub and shower at the same time.

Most likely its due to an old or faulty tub spout which cannot divert all the water to the head anymore.  Its always a good idea to replace the spout first since this would be the easiest solution.

Why does hot water not come out in the shower?

There is a temperature limit set inside the body of the rough-in.  Valves will need to be shut off in the unit and reset the temperature or replace the cartridge.

How long do water tanks last and what do I do if mine is leaking?

Hot water tanks should be replaced every 10 years.   If your tank is leaking, shutoff the valve on top of the tank located on the cold line. This will not let any water back into the tank. If you want to drain the tank, attach a garden hose to the drain on the bottom of the tank and drain it to the nearest floor drain.

What can I do if my toilet is constantly leaking?

Shut off the water to toilet and remove lid on the tank. It is most likely leaking from an old flapper or the chain from the handle being snagged under the flapper. You can replace the flapper and adjust the chain to the right height.

Why is my toilet tank filing slowly?

Your fill valve needs to be replaced. Turn off the water to your toilet and remove lid on tank.   Adjust height of new fill valve making sure it is 1" below overflow.


Billing Questions

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept, Cash, Cheques, Credit Cards and Interact Email Transfer. Please make all cheques out to Red Seal Drainage & Plumbing Inc.

What email do I send an interact email money transfers to?

You can send all money transfers to redsealplumbing@gmail.com.

What are Red Seal Plumbing's business hours?

We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A live agent will always be available to speak with when calling (604) 618-4988.

What is our billing address?

Red Seal Drainage & Plumbing Inc.
2790 east 21st Avenue
Vancouver, British Columbia
V5M 2W2

What areas in Metro Vancouver does Red Seal Plumbing service to?

Burnaby, Downtown, East Vancouver, Kitsilano, New Westminster, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, South Vancouver & UBC.